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Russell Berman receives Stanford HAI grant

Russell Berman, Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature, has received a grant from Stanford HAI for an Ethics and AI Project. Professor Berman will mentor Muhammad Yusuf Khattak, a Stanford undergraduate student.

Opening the Loop is the tentative name for a documentary film being directed and produced by Muhammad Khattak (Stanford) and Joe Khoury (California Institute of the Arts). It is being produced under the guidance of Dr. Ruth Starkman, Professor Russell Berman, and Professor Gary Mairs (CalArts). The film seeks to critically interrogate how broader issues regarding power, culture and our ethical priorities influence current developments of artificial intelligence. Primarily focusing on AI’s regulatory uses, it aims to shift away from predominant attitudes that technology is merely a neutral tool and focuses on AI’s slow expansion into the public realm. This is part of a broader project to promote non-technical engagements in AI. In conjunction with the film, Joe and Muhammad are collaborating with Stanford artists and educators to organize an AI art exhibit and research education techniques regarding the societal implications of AI. The latter is meant to introduce ethical questions about AI to the realm of secondary education whereas the former serves to promote unique engagements in current technological changes. Together, these three projects focus on the particular experiences that are oftentimes marginalized in popular representations of AI and aim to endorse more open-ended, philosophical and artistic means of describing AI in current conversations.